Job Listings

Senior Associate Director, FAS Donor Relations

Harvard University
Job Location:
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Development and Fundraising
Alumni Affairs and Development


Job Summary
This position will be based on our campus in Cambridge, MA. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic this position will be remote until further notice.

Alumni Affairs and Development (AA&D) comprises the University Development Office (UDO), Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) Development, AA&D Resources, and the Harvard Alumni Association (HAA). There is a unique relationship between the University and the FAS fundraising operations, resulting from a long history in which University fundraising ultimately grew out of College fundraising.

Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) Development
FAS Development is responsible for the fundraising efforts supporting the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, including Harvard College, the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. FAS Development staff work with Harvard College donors, alumni, parents, and friends who provide critical support for the FAS and often for other parts of the University.

This full-time exempt position is responsible for developing, overseeing, and executing multi-dimensional stewardship plans for transformational, principal, and major donors to FAS fundraising priorities. The role will enhance and manage a comprehensive principal gifts stewardship program; collaborate regularly with principal gift fundraisers on stewardship strategies for FAS's most generous donors; manage and execute strategic individual stewardship plans; serve as a primary stewardship contact for principal gifts fundraisers; and collaborate with other Development Communications team members to develop content and deliverables. The position supervises a stewardship reporting team of 4 to 5 Assistant and Associate Directors who steward principal and major gifts to fundraising priorities including Professorships, House Renewal and Capital Projects, Unrestricted Giving, SEAS and Science, the Arts & Humanities and Social Sciences, the College, and others as outlined by senior leadership. The Senior Associate Director leads the stewardship reporting team, oversees content strategy and management of reporting programs, reviews and analyzes data on new and existing stewardship activity, creates new stewardship assignments, and ensures balanced workloads. The Senior Associate Director drives the resolution of complex donor relations and stewardship issues and discovers and implements new stewardship strategies, tactics, and tools. Cultivating and maintaining strong relationships with leaders, administrators, and fundraisers is a critical part of the position. The position requires superb people and project management skills, as well as writing, editing, interviewing, research, word processing, data management, interpersonal, organizational, and creative thinking skills. In addition, a proven ability to think strategically, solve problems, and generate innovative ideas is needed. Also important are a strong customer and donor focus, a demonstrated ability to build relationships, solid presentation skills, an ability to gain commitment from others and communicate effectively in a leadership environment, and team management skills.

Job-Specific Responsibilities
  • Principal Gifts Stewardship. Collaborates with colleagues to develop and maintain list of top donors for high-touch stewardship activity. Creates and executes multi-dimensional individual stewardship plans, collaborating with gift officers to ensure that our most generous donors are stewarded appropriately, strategically, and comprehensively on their FAS funds, which may include dynamic visual reports and strategic, tailored communication and recognition plans, special events and engagement experiences, video stewardship, social media, and/or other platforms. Coordinates with stewardship officers in University Donor Relations and other Harvard Schools on stewardship planning and activity. Assists with special projects and requests from the FAS management team and senior fundraisers (such as risk assessments and donor research).
  • Stewardship Team Management. Oversees stewardship reporting for FAS funds in collaboration with team members. Oversees annual audit of stewardship reporting tasks and quarterly audit of new funds to determine stewardship plans. Holds regular check-ins with direct reports and manages all aspects of performance processes. Supports team in unusual and major planning activity, such as atypical projects and implementation of new and stewardship programs and responsibilities. Ensures staff coverage during periods of vacancy and manages hiring processes. Provides editorial guidance to team, reviewing written work upon request and provides assistance with layout and presentation for high-priority projects as needed. Collaborates with colleagues to develop shared workflow management resources to help team manage independent workloads. Ensures that team utilizes all resources available (Advance, FileMaker Pro, FAS Donor Relations colleagues, central files, publications, professional contacts, etc.) to complete comprehensive research on donors, philanthropy, faculty, departments, and other topics of interest. Recruits and trains other members of the team to assist with research and writing as needed and manages their work on a project basis to ensure timely completion of annual reporting portfolios. Ensures that reports adhere to the highest levels of quality and visual presentation. Collaborates with team leaders on successful development and execution of the Department's strategic plan and business operations.
  • Donor Relations Issues and Ad Hoc Stewardship. Cultivates and maintains strong relationships with administrative officials, academic leaders, and gift officers. Advises FAS Finance as needed on donor relations issues and ensures that gift money is fully utilized to benefit Harvard. Ensures that funds are being used according to donors' intentions and consults with campus partners on the development of administrative plans for unique incremental gifts. Has frequent contact with leadership, administrators, faculty members, and personnel of AA&D to generate interest and participation in stewardship programs. Drives the resolution of complex donor relations and stewardship issues in collaboration with fundraisers and administrators, with minimal direction. Stays current with activities supported by FAS funds. Conducts research to determine donors impacted by breaking news stories related to the FAS and makes recommendations for sharing relevant news with donors in a timely fashion. Documents activity in Advance.
  • Procedures and Quality Control. Adheres to all departmental and University policies and procedures. Maintains style and operational manuals for position and for team-wide processes. Develops InDesign templates for visual storytelling with Communications Creative Services as needed. Responsible for maintaining an accurate comprehensive filing and tracking system for stewardship. Attends and participates in departmental, FAS, and AA&D staff meetings. Maintains professional knowledge through contact with colleagues and by attending related conferences.
  • Other duties as required.
Basic Qualifications
  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution required.
  • A minimum of 8 years of professional experience; experience in higher education donor relations or fundraising preferred.
  • Team management, project management, and professional writing, editing, and proofreading experience.
Additional Qualifications and Skills
  • Professionalism, integrity, and accountability. Able to deal effectively and diplomatically with people from different backgrounds, experience levels, and in all types of situations.
  • Team leadership skills with high level of competency in performance management, delegation, coaching, and feedback.
  • Demonstrated capability to evaluate problems accurately, make decisions independently, and display good, sound, and confidential judgment.
  • Superb writing and editing skills, with a strong command of English grammar.
  • A sophisticated understanding of stewardship, donor relations, and fundraising.
  • Strong research, analytical, and creative skills; accuracy and attentiveness to detail.
  • Resourcefulness in obtaining information and in overcoming obstacles to carry out assignments.
  • Excellent organizational skills and leadership skills.
  • Project management experience. Ability to prioritize work appropriately, work independently on multiple tasks, adapt to and deal effectively with conflicting and changing priorities, and meet deadlines.
  • Must demonstrate strong work ethic and ability to take initiative.
  • Excellent computer skills; proficient or able to gain proficiency in all aspects of Microsoft Word, Excel, Adobe InDesign, FileMaker Pro, and other database programs. Ability to successfully utilize Ellucian CRM Advance and Qlik applications.
  • Excellent interpersonal, diplomatic, and communication skills are essential. Must be able to develop good relationships with members of the University community. Must exercise skill and tact in obtaining information from faculty members and other members in the Harvard community.
  • Proven ability to manage high-level programs and projects and think strategically about complex issues. Able to generate innovate ideas and solutions to problems.
  • Demonstrates customer (donor/fundraiser) focus with mastery of customer service skills.
  • Proven ability to make presentations effectively, lead and participate in meetings, gain the commitment of others, and communicate in a leadership environment.
  • A wide-ranging knowledge of current affairs, particularly in higher education and research, plus curiosity, imagination, and a genuine interest in the ongoing affairs of the University.
Additional Information
This position requires a 3 month orientation and review period. Please include a cover letter with your application.

About Harvard University
Harvard University, based in Cambridge and Boston, Massachusetts, was established in 1636 and is the oldest institution of higher education in the United States. The University is home to over 20,000 students and employs 18,000 people, making us the fifth-largest employer in Massachusetts. Harvard is a special place, filled with diverse, energetic, and talented people who are driven to grow and succeed. By working here, you join a vibrant community that advances Harvard's world-changing mission in meaningful ways, inspires innovation and collaboration, and builds skills and expertise.

Why AA&D?
We are a dedicated team of 400 alumni affairs and development professionals supporting Harvard's advancement activity through roles that include front-line fundraising, alumni and volunteer engagement, technology, events, communications, prospect management and research, business process, talent management and many other areas.

Harvard's Alumni Affairs and Development team inspires and galvanizes alumni, friends, and members of the University community to support Harvard through philanthropy, governance, and active engagement. AA&D believes a workplace that reflects the diversity of our society and our ever-evolving University constituency makes us a stronger and more effective organization. Our goal is to create an environment of respect that values the many talents, perspectives, and experiences of our community, to deliver the strongest possible results by incorporating diverse perspectives into our daily work, and to make AA&D a great place to work for everyone. AA&D strives to live our values of respect, inclusion, trust, collaboration, innovation and sharing of information in our daily interactions and our work.

To learn more about how Harvard supports diversity and inclusion throughout the University please visit the Office for Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging at

Discover AA&D and Harvard University Benefits
  • Opportunities for internal advancement
  • A creative, high- energy, collaborative environment
  • Generous Vacation, Sick, Personal, and Holiday pay
  • Medical, Dental and Vision benefits starting on your first day
  • University-funded retirement plans
  • Tuition Assistance Program
  • Transportation benefits to help with your daily commute
  • Health and wellness discounts, memberships and programs
Additional benefits can be found at

Harvard University welcomes individuals with disabilities to apply for positions and participate in its programs and activities. If you would like to request accommodations or have questions about the physical access provided, please let your recruiter know.

Vaccine Requirements: 
Harvard will require COVID vaccination for all Harvard community members who will have any on-campus presence. Individuals may claim exemption from the vaccine requirement for medical or religious reasons. More information regarding the University's COVID vaccination requirement and exceptions may be found at the University's "COVID-19 Vaccine Information" webpage:

Job Function
Alumni Affairs and Development, Communications

USA - MA - Cambridge

Job Code
CM0559 Communications Management IV


Alumni Affairs and Development

Time Status

Salary Grade

00 - Non Union, Exempt or Temporary

Pre-Employment Screening
Education, Identity

EEO Statement
We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.
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